Saturday, July 16, 2011

Political Digest for March 16, 2011

Political Digest for
Robert A. Hall

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Info about my book. All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. Please forward and post where possible.

50 copies!!!!
Had a text message last night from a doctor. He said he has ordered 50 copies of Collapse, sending them to me to be signed so he can send them to people with a personal letter asking them to read it. Going to be hard to top that. ~Bob.

"Republican Candidate" Extends Lead vs. Obama to 47% to 39%
Excerpt: Registered voters by a significant margin now say they are more likely to vote for the "Republican Party's candidate for president" than for President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, 47% to 39%. Preferences had been fairly evenly divided this year in this test of Obama's re-election prospects.

Barack Obama’s future looks precarious as America faces its most important presidential election since 1980
The view from Britain. ~Bob. Excerpt: If his presidency does fall in 2012, which now looks an increasingly strong possibility according to some surveys, President Obama will only have himself to blame. He has spent the best part of the last two and a half years blaming America’s economic ills on the Bush administration, and more recently upon the Republican-dominated House of Representatives. But the American people don’t seem to be buying it. You can only get so far by trying to shift responsibility to the shoulders of others when you are ultimately in charge of running the country, and have been for 30 months, which is an extremely long time in politics.

Excerpt: Two data points. 1) Obama loses his cool with House Whip Eric Cantor, says he’s had enough, tells Cantor not to call his bluff, walks out. 2) Quinnipiac releases a poll indicating that by a margin of 48-34, the public will blame Republicans and not Obama if the debt ceiling is not raised. Put them together and you come to point #3: The president thinks this is a fight he can and will win. I suspect the president’s conduct in yesterday’s meeting was informed either by an early read-out on the Q poll or by private polling showing similar results. In which case, his departure from the meeting wasn’t a fit of weak pique, but rather an improperly understood expression of confidence. Thus, when he told Cantor not to call his bluff, he misspoke. He was warning Cantor not to call Obama’s bet—because Obama believes his hand is the winning hand and if Cantor calls, Cantor will lose. At some point, those who believe it will be acceptable to go to August 3 without an increase in the debt limit, as well as those who believe the politics favor the Republicans, are going to have to reckon with the fact that there are no data points supporting their beliefs. The way things are going, if August 2 comes and goes without an agreement, there will be a worldwide panic that would have catastrophic immediate consequences in the equity markets. And when Obama says, “I warned and warned and warned and they didn’t listen,” any attempt to offer a counterargument is going to sound very hollow.

Dayton Caves?
Excerpt: Here in Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton has agreed to the Republican legislature’s June 30 proposal to resolve the state’s budget impasse and end the partial government shutdown, with several conditions added. The most important of these conditions appears to be the Republicans’ agreement to a $500 million bonding bill “to put people back to work throughout Minnesota.” I don’t have a handle on the numbers, but I assume that any number of capital projects (road construction, etc.) are in the pipeline and that a $500 million bonding bill will not be an insuperable obstacle.

Breaking: Dayton caves, will call special session
Excerpt:  The fact remains that the shutdown turned out to be entirely unnecessary. Dayton must have thought that his class-warfare schtick would sell with the same Minnesotans that put Republicans in charge of the legislature for the first time ever. He had just started a tour of the state to sell his side of the shutdown; one can only presume that the feedback was less positive than Dayton imagined. For that, he can only thank himself. When Gov. Mark Dayton forced a government shutdown in Minnesota, he had a responsibility to select which state functions are “essential” and which could be furloughed until a budget gets put into place. Let’s just say that Dayton’s notions of “essential” are, well, fanciful. We’ve already noted that Dayton anointed his own housekeeper and chef to be “essential” to state operations, although Dayton later claimed that he would pay the chef out of his own pocket.

Snipers: Another Threat to U.S. Forces in Southern Afghanistan
Excerpt: U.S. and British troops in southern Afghanistan are facing another formidable danger in Helmand Province: well-trained foreign snipers, who are beginning to rival roadside bombs as a significant threat. Maj. Gen. John Toolan, the top Marine general in Afghanistan, told National Journal that the sniper threat was particularly acute in contested regions of Helmand like Sangin and Garesh, where NATO forces are battling Taliban fighters trying to reclaim some of their former strongholds. Despite a counter-offensive from insurgents, the military said coalition troops control most of Helmand and the level of violence there is declining. Toolan, who runs NATO’s Regional Command Southwest, said many of the snipers attacking his troops speak Farsi or Arabic, meaning that the fighters likely come from Iran and other neighboring countries. Other U.S. officials in Afghanistan say Iran has significantly escalated its support for militants there, providing long-range rockets, money, and technical assistance. Tehran denies the charges, but Toolan said some of the snipers appear to have been trained outside of Afghanistan.

Excerpt: If the latest report by Debkafile is true, then the Libyan war is unofficially over, Obama has made Russia the peacemaker, and NATO has ended its air strikes. A reasonable layperson’s analysis of this report might be this: The EU has overextended itself politically, economically and militarily. 1–Politically: It has always been a de facto dictatorship. It was originally touted as a strictly economic scheme and the trusting nations of Europe bought it on that basis. Then, surprise, it started adding massive bureaucratic trappings, mostly of a political nature – a court of justice, a Constitution, a Parliament, a Commission, a ministry of foreign affairs, etc, whose functions went far beyond the economic realm and into the everyday lives of every European. Result: It now looks a lot like an empire, but without the usual sense of nationhood that has typically supported empires in the past. No one loves the European flag. Yet, oblivious to the fact that people can be controlled indefinitely only if they love their nation or have some traditional loyalties to it, the EU has threatened UK groups who refuse to fly the EU flag on Europe Day. They have also made and enforced laws favoring the Muslim minority but discriminating against the Christians majority.

Fly for Free Thanks to the U.S. Mint
Excerpt: But racking up thousands of frequent flier miles for free? That's a trick that all but the truly dedicated can only dream about. But it's possible, and best of all, it's legal. … It goes something like this: The U.S. Mint, through a 2005 act of Congress, is required to place $1 billion worth of the golden presidential and Sacagewea dollars into circulation in an effort to stimulate general use. The only problem is, the coins haven't really caught on with the general public. But there is one group of people that have enthusiastically embraced their use: travel hackers, so called because they aggressively look for loopholes in promotional programs and for tips on travel websites for ways in which to make the best use of their travel dollars. Much of this "hacking" involves taking advantage of frequent flier programs in unique and innovative ways. The dollar coin trick involves purchasing large amounts of coins with a frequent flier card, waiting for the Mint to ship the coins (free shipping!), and then taking the coins to the bank, where they are deposited and the money is used to pay the credit card charges. No money is lost, the frequent flier miles rack up, and travelers can use them for upgrades or completely free flights whenever they want. According to NPR's Planet Money, which broadcast a story about the scheme on Wednesday morning, the Mint caught on when some customers started buying hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of free coins, so it has since limited purchases to $1,000 every ten days. But 3,000 free frequent fliers miles per month still isn't a bad deal. NPR quotes Mint spokesman Tom Jurkowsky about the ways in which the Mint has tried to curb the practice: "Do we feel a little bit violated? Yes, and that's why we aggressively sought measures to eliminate what we called an abuse." (This costs the taxpayers the credit card fees and the shipping charges. The way to get dollar coins in use is to STOP PRINTING DOLLAR BILLS. After all, a dollar buys less than a quarter in 1960. But they are fearful of annoying voters. And we expect them to have the guys to balance the budget? ~Bob.)

U.S. gives billions of dollars in foreign aid to world's richest countries - then asks to borrow it back
Excerpt: The U.S. is providing hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign aid to some of the world's richest countries - while at the same time borrowing billions back, according to report seen by Congress. The Congressional Research Service released the report last month which shows that in 2010 the U.S. handed out a total of $1.4bn to 16 foreign countries that held at least $10bn in Treasury securities. Four countries in the world's top 10 richest received foreign aid last year with China receiving $27.2m, India $126.6m, Brazil $25m, and Russia $71.5m.

Washington gets $200 billion a month, Social Security costs $50 billion a month, and Obama is threatening to starve Grandma?
Excerpt: President Obama told CBS News today that he "cannot guarantee that those [Social Security] checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it." But wait just a minute. If Washington receives about $200 billion in monthly revenues and sends out roughly $50 billion worth of Social Security checks and the same amount of Medicare payments, why is Obama claiming the checks may not go out? Isn't $200 billion minus $100 billion still $100 billion? Because Obama is playing the demogogue, that's why. Pure and simple. He is trying to scare seniors into making panicked calls to their congressmen begging them to do whatever Obama and the Democrats want in order to keep the checks coming.
This is demogoguery of the worst sort because Obama has to know that what he is saying is false. When you and I say something we know to be false, it's called a "lie."

Religious Freedom Group Sues Perry Over Planned All-Day Prayer Event in Texas
Great break for Perry. Bred and born in that briar patch, Br’er Atheist. ~Bob. Excerpt: A Wisconsin-based religious freedom group is suing Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a possible Republican presidential contender, in an effort to block his promotion of and participation in an all-day Christian prayer event to be held Aug. 6, arguing that it violates the constitutional separation of church and state. The Freedom From Religious Foundation, which claims more than 16,000 members, including 700 in Texas, filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday in Houston, contending that Perry’s actions violate the Constitution's Establishment Clause by “giving the appearance that the government prefers evangelical Christian religious beliefs over other religious beliefs and non-beliefs.”

U.S. to recognize Libyan rebels as legitimate government
Excerpt: The United States is granting Libyan rebel leaders full diplomatic recognition as the governing authority of Libya, after five months of fighting to oust longtime ruler Moammar Gaddafi, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday.
The decision--announced at a meeting here of 30 Western and Arab nations--paves the way for the rebels to access some of Libya’s frozen U.S. assets, which total more than $30 billion. (They will be so grateful for this and the “no fly zone” that BO promised would last “days, not weeks,” that they will likely hold off training terrorists to murder us for weeks, not days. ~Bob.)

Sizing Up Classrooms: It’s time to expose the “smaller-is-better” myth.
Excerpt: Summer is in full swing, and teachers’ unions are going on the offensive. Perhaps hoping to build on the public-relations bonanza that was California’s “State of Emergency,” union activists and their progressive allies plan to rally in Washington, D.C. and around the country later this month as part of the “Save Our Schools March and Call to Action.” The public will hear from writers like Jonathan Kozol and Diane Ravitch about the indignities schools have purportedly been forced to endure in the wake of the economic downturn. One of their key themes will be the “class-size crisis.”
Teachers like smaller classes, and understandably so. The advantages include fewer papers to grade, students to manage, and parents to deal with. The teachers’ unions like smaller classes, too. Smaller classes mean more teachers—and more union dues. And parents like smaller classes because they believe that their children benefit from more individual attention. Everyone agrees that smaller classes are better, right?
In a word: no. Much of the rhetoric supporting small classes is demagogic and runs afoul of the research.

Census: Share of children in US hits record low
Excerpt: Children now make up less of America's population than ever before, even with a boost from immigrant families. And when this generation grows up, it will become a shrinking work force that will have to support the nation's expanding elderly population -- even as the government strains to cut spending for health care, pensions and much else. The latest 2010 census data show that children of immigrants make up one in four people under 18, and are now the fastest-growing segment of the nation's youth, an indication that both legal and illegal immigrants as well as minority births are lifting the nation's population. Currently, the share of children in the U.S. is 24 percent, falling below the previous low of 26 percent of 1990. The share is projected to slip further, to 23 percent by 2050, even as the percentage of people 65 and older is expected to jump from 13 percent today to roughly 20 percent by 2050 due to the aging of baby boomers and beyond. (We are on the road to cultural collapse as well as fiscal collapse—they are linked. To think that I believed my professor when they gave me Ehrlich’s Population Bomb and decided not to have kids of my own. Oh, to be young and gullible again. I wonder if I was in my 20s in college today I’d believe in Global warming? ~Bob.)

Years of High Unemployment Ahead at Recovery’s Pace
Excerpt: Despite the official end of the recession in June 2009, the labor market remains stagnant. Employment has fallen by nearly 7 million jobs since the recession began. Unemployment remains above 9 percent. This is the weakest recovery of the post–World War II era. Current policies have not stimulated business hiring. If job creation occurs at the same rate as in the 2003–2007 expansion, unemployment will not return to pre-recession levels until 2018. If job creation continues at the low rate of the past year, unemployment will remain permanently high. Congress needs to act to prevent this by removing federal barriers to business investment and success.

Bachmann bashes Whoopi back in new fundraising letter
Excerpt: The pledge, called “The Marriage Vow,” asked signatories to endorse the notion that children are best raised by a mother and a father and to promise to oppose efforts to expand same-sex marriage. It condemned pornography and Sharia law. It also claimed that more black children were born to two-parent households under slavery than today — a passage that the group, the Family Leader, later retracted. (I have read, I think in Dr. Sowell’s works, that research supports the claim that more black kids had two parents present under slavery, though they were often not permitted to marry. But very non-PC to say so, even if true. Frankly, I’d rather my grand daughter be raised by any of the three lesbian couples with kids that I know, than her ethically-challenged mother. I’m starting to imagine a Bachmann-Rubio ticket, first woman for president and first Hispanic on a national ticket. The Leftist smear machine would work overtime, and likely foul its own nest going after them. ~Bob.)

S&P sees a 50 percent chance of downgrade for US credit rating
I can’t tell if this is a real crisis or a Y2K hyped crisis. No idea what to suggest on investments either in my meager IRA or for the organization I manage. But all the long-term trends seem to me to still lead to disaster. ~Bob. Excerpt: Standard & Poor's says there's a 50 percent chance it will downgrade the credit rating for U.S. debt in the next 90 days. The credit rating agency announced Thursday that it was preparing to downgrade the nation's debt, saying that the ongoing political standoff over raising the $14.3 trillion debt limit has increased the odds the nation's triple-A credit rating will be knocked down a peg. The agency had put the nation's debt on negative watch back in April as the debate to raise the debt limit began in earnest. Since then, actions in Washington have only made the raters more pessimistic.

Debt limit: U.S. outreach to banks, investors over possible default comes up empty
Excerpt: Obama administration officials have been privately exploring with major banks and foreign investors whether the government could devise a way to avoid a severe disruption in financial markets if the federal debt ceiling is not raised, according to several people familiar with the matter. Officials have discussed suspending some domestic spending in order to make payments to investors in U.S. bonds — which include domestic pension funds and the Chinese government — and possibly selling assets such as gold. But the message back from the market has been discouraging: The failure to pay any significant obligations would scare away investors and undermine the financial system.

Cut spending to grow the economy
Excerpt: The anemic 18,000 payroll jobs the United States gained last month clearly shows America’s job creators are on strike against President Obama’s failed big government policies. If we want to spur business investment that will create new jobs we must change our fiscal course. In his 1981 inaugural address, President Reagan said, “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Reagan began to reduce the size and scope of the federal government and produced spectacular growth dividends. Over the next two decades, federal spending shrank from 22 percent to 18 percent of our economy, and the United States created 37 million private payroll jobs. Since 2001, Congress has allowed federal spending to expand once again to 24 percent of our economy. Not surprisingly, the United States has lost 2.7 million private payroll jobs since then. Since 2009, when the Obama stimulus was enacted, the United States lost 1.3 million private payroll jobs. The lesson is clear: we must shrink Washington to create jobs on Main Streets around America.

Ahmed Wali Karzai’s killer had been a Taliban foe
We can expect more side-changes now that Obama has announced we are running. ~Bob. Excerpt: The man who murdered President Hamid Karzai’s half brother spent years as an ally of the United States in the war against the Taliban. The killer, Sardar Mohammad, a police commander, met on several occasions with U.S. and British military officials, shared intelligence with Americans and played a part in Afghan arrests of scores of Taliban fighters, according to three relatives interviewed on Thursday in his home near Kandahar. The reasons behind the dramatic switch that turned the 35-year-old officer against Ahmed Wali Karzai, perhaps the most powerful figure in southern Afghanistan, are still not understood. But one of Karzai’s brothers and a senior Afghan official said they were now convinced that the Taliban somehow won Mohammad’s allegiance in recent months and convinced him to carry out an assassination on the group’s behalf.

Excerpt: I agree with much of this reader’s take on the sorry state of the debt-ceiling talks: I’ve been watching the debt negotiations play out with a bit of a sinking feeling–Obama’s strategy of offering $3 trillion in imaginary cuts in exchange for $1 trillion in tax increases was genius. The offer isn’t genuine–nobody knows where the $3 trillion comes from, other than that it doesn’t include real structural entitlement reform. But because the press hasn’t called him out on this, he’s able to come off looking pretty reasonable–i.e., asking for $1 dollar of new taxes for every $3 of spending cuts. Grover Norquist may not like it, but that’s where most of the country is (especially independents who decide elections), and it isn’t such a bad deal for Republicans–especially if the new revenue came from closing loopholes rather than raising marginal rates. The problem, of course, is that Obama isn’t really offering a 3 for 1 deal; he’s promising fake cuts in exchange for real tax increases that are designed to permanently finance the massive expansion of government he has sponsored over the past 2 and a half years. But the reasons why the President’s “cuts” are fake are difficult to convey (especially during the summer when no one is paying attention). At the end of the day, a retreat along the lines that McConnell is proposing might be the best option. It would be hard for Obama to veto, and perhaps Republicans could offer it as a way to avoid default, but still continue to negotiate a deficit reduction package, so it won’t look like they are giving up. I was particularly struck by the way the reader calls the McConnell’s Contingency “a retreat” in the course of defending it, since the plan’s biggest haters are keen on calling it a “surrender.” But not all retreats are capitulations, are they? I’m not personally in love with the McConnell plan, but I do know the senator is probably the Republicans’ best political tactician on the Hill — it’s not for nothing that one top Dem staffer called the plan a work of “evil genius.”

Worth Reading: Call His Bluff
Excerpt: The meme having been established, Republicans have been neatly set up to take the fall if a deal is not reached by Aug. 2. Obama is already waving the red flag, warning ominously that Social Security, disabled veterans' benefits, "critical" medical research, food inspection -- without which agriculture shuts down -- are in jeopardy. The Republicans are being totally outmaneuvered. The House speaker appears disoriented. It's time to act. Time to call Obama's bluff. A long-term deal or nothing? The Republican House should immediately pass a short-term debt-ceiling hike of $500 billion containing $500 billion in budget cuts. That would give us about five months to work on something larger. The fat-cat tax breaks (those corporate jets) that Obama's talking points endlessly recycle? Republicans should call for urgent negotiations on tax reform along the lines of Simpson-Bowles that, in one option, strips out annually $1.1 trillion of deductions, credits and loopholes while lowering tax rates across the board to a top rate of 23 percent. The president says he wants tax reform, doesn't he? Well, Mr. President, here are five months to do so. Will the Democratic Senate or the Democratic president refuse this offer and allow the country to default -- with all the cataclysmic consequences that the Democrats have been warning about for months -- because Obama insists on a deal that is 10 months and seven days longer?

Excerpt: Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) on Wednesday (June 29) sent a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC, and issued the following statement in response to recent allegations regarding religious discrimination by the Director of the Houston National Cemetery: “I am deeply troubled by the allegations that were brought to my attention when I met with members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Houston,” Poe said. “The director of the Houston National Cemetery, Arleen Ocasio, allegedly has engaged in aggressive hostile censorship of religion at the second largest cemetery for veterans in the United States.” … The June 28 hearing took place before Federal District Judge Lynn N. Hughes who had granted the original temporary restraining order preventing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from censoring Pastor Rainey's prayer in May. Judge Hughes gave the government until July 15 to respond to the new allegations and set a status hearing for July 21.

Toxic Seafood Warning
Scary. ~Bob.

Excerpt: Suppose your alcoholic son comes to you and says “Dad, I am only making $46,000 a year on my job but it takes me $78,000 to live. My credit cards are maxed out at $243,000 and the bank is threatening to cut off my line of credit on August 2nd. You have to help me keep borrowing!” My reply would be “No, son, you need to drink less, work more, quit borrowing, and spend some of your $46,000 income to pay down your bills.” “But dad, I like drinking. I will no longer be popular with my buddies if I stop drinking. After all, one reason I am popular is I buy them drinks too!” “Son, there are things in life more important than being popular with your drinking buddies. You need to stop drinking, work harder, and figure out how you are going to pay your bills.” This is a common sense conversation, the advice any reasonable father would give a prodigal son. Here is where common sense goes out the window, and Congresscritters get really dumb. Those numbers are the US government income, debt, & expenses, divided by the number of families in America, based upon a family of four. Instead of drinking alcohol, Congresscritters spend money on programs to buy votes and keep themselves popular with the 47% of Americans who do not pay any income taxes at all.

Republican Show-and-Tell: Republicans should stop reading their stage directions out loud.
Excerpt: High among the problems with McConnell’s plan is how hard it is to explain. But basically, Republicans would give Obama all of the responsibility for proposing specific spending cuts and for raising the debt ceiling three times up to $2.5 trillion over the next year. Obama would get his way unless a supermajority of Congress objected, so the GOP could vote against Obama without stopping him. Default would be averted without Republicans being forced to vote for tax hikes. Conservatives are split on the idea. Personally I think it might be the least bad of the currently possible options. But what’s particularly frustrating is how McConnell is selling his proposal. In an interview with radio host Laura Ingraham, McConnell explained his thinking: “If we go into default, [Obama] will say that Republicans are making the economy worse. . . . The president will have the bully pulpit to blame the Republicans for all of this destruction,” setting himself up for re-election. “I refuse to help Barack Obama get reelected by marching Republicans into a position where we have co-ownership of a bad economy,” McConnell added. “That’s a very bad positioning going into an election.” McConnell is right. But McConnell isn’t a pundit. Why the hell is he reading his stage direction out loud?

What Happened to the $2.6 Trillion Social Security Trust Fund?
Excerpt: And Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner echoed the president on CBS’s Face the Nation Sunday implying that if a budget deal isn’t reached by August 2, seniors might not get their Social Security checks. Well, either Obama and Geithner are lying to us now, or they and all defenders of the Social Security status quo have been lying to us for decades. It must be one or the other. Here’s why: Social Security has a trust fund, and that trust fund is supposed to have $2.6 trillion in it, according to the Social Security trustees.  If there are real assets in the trust fund, then Social Security can mail the checks, regardless of what Congress does about the debt limit. President Obama’s budget director, Jack Lew, explained all this last February in USA Today: “Social Security benefits are entirely self-financing. They are paid for with payroll taxes collected from workers and their employers throughout their careers. These taxes are placed in a trust fund dedicated to paying benefits owed to current and future beneficiaries. … Even though Social Security began collecting less in taxes than it paid in benefits in 2010, the trust fund will continue to accrue interest and grow until 2025, and will have adequate resources to pay full benefits for the next 26 years.” Notice that Lew said nothing about raising the debt ceiling, which was already looming, and it shouldn’t matter anyway because Social Security is “entirely self-financing” and off budget.  What could be clearer?

Brits Warn Americans of Green Catastrophe
Excerpt: In a stealth move to by-pass Congress, President Obama is resurrecting his Cap-and-Trade "green" agenda through harsh EPA regulations and fines that are budget-busting for homes and businesses. Keenly aware of this egregious power grab and political corruption, Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is calling for the dissolution of the EPA. Heed the British warning. An ocean apart, Obama is hoping that the "green" devastation being faced by the British will escape notice. As Barack Obama makes claims of a better life and future for Americans, his administration is surreptitiously mounting mountains of regulations via executive order and the EPA that will kill jobs, crush the economy and impose fines on families failing to comply. As Obama presses hard-and-fast for his socialist, global-warming "green" initiatives to be forced on Americans, the Brits are bailing. Their economy is being savaged by their "politically correct" green policies based on fraudulent science. Brits are already making the choice between food or fuel as U.K. families face "fuel poverty." The Brits are now speaking out and rebelling: Bringing in a carbon "tax" will push thousands more families into fuel poverty without reducing emissions, a think tank has claimed.

Man can't order 7-Up on flight. Naturally, he sues.
So you want a bi-lingual society? ~Bob. Excerpt: We usually focus on what’s going on in the states, but we couldn’t help but share this one with you all. A man on an Air Canada flight became disgruntled when he couldn’t order a 7-Up in French while on board in the spring of 2009. Naturally, the man and his wife decided to sue the airline for more than half a million dollars. The couple claimed that the incident was one of “a dozen times the couple said they were denied service in French over the course of two trips they took with Air Canada and its contract carrier, Jazz, in 2009.”On Wednesday, a Federal Court judge granted the couple $12,000 in compensation for the occasions when Air Canada could not serve them in French and also “ordered the airline to apologize to the couple and introduce a system to track potential violations of its language duties.”

"Inmate" Offends; Causes Mental Anguish
Excerpt: A lawsuit recently filed in New York is demanding that the state stop using the word “inmate” to refer to those serving time in prison. The plaintiff, the sister of a convicted murderer, ironically filed the lawsuit with hopes to “protect her brother’s reputation. The plaintiff claims that her brother has suffered “extreme mental anguish” because the word "inmate" implies that those serving time have been "locked up for the purpose of mating with other men." Really? Yes, really. (The lawyer should lose his license. But won’t, the Bar protects its incompetents like any union. ~Bob.)

Fresh doubt cast on Obama's health care story
Excerpt: It was a simple and powerful story, one Obama would tell many more times as president during the national health care debate. But now we're learning the real story of Ann Dunham's health coverage is not quite what her son made it out to be. (His supporters will still defend him, saying that he misspoke or that he was taken out of context. He was the lawyer handling her appeal, so he KNEW she was not denied health insurance coverage, that it was disability benefits that were denied her. Where is Joe Wilson when you need him? MasterGuns)

President Donates $100 Billion to the United Nations
Deficit? What deficit? ~Bob. Excerpt: The U. S. State Department yesterday announced that the Obama Administration has agreed to contribute $4 billion to the United Nations Global Fund to fight AIDs, Tuberculosis, and Malaria from 2011 to 2013. The $4 billion represents a 38% increase over the previous U.S. commitment to the fund. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that a total of $11.7 billion has been raised from 40 countries, the European Commission, faith-based organizations, private foundations, and various corporations. This means that over one-third of the money will come from the pockets of US taxpayers. Oil-rich nations like Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, and the United Arab Emirates contribute next to nothing, and China, which holds most of the US $14 trillion debt, agreed to provide a measly $14 million. In addition to the annual gift of $1.33 billion to the Global Fund, President Obama has agreed to provide billions more for UN projects.

Important: We're All Greeks Now
Excerpt: Indeed, by 2050, the fertility rate of Greek women will have been below zero population growth for 80 years. One wonders: How can the U.N. estimate that Greece's population will fall only 3 percent by then? Is the U.N. assuming mass immigration from the Muslim world? But what does Greece have to do with the rest of Europe, or with us? Only this. The median age of all of Europe is rising, and the demographic numbers for Greece look positively rosy alongside those of the east, where population declines in the tens of millions are projected for Russia and Ukraine. And outside Iceland and Albania, not one nation of Europe has a fertility rate sufficient to maintain its population. Those that are projected to grow, like Britain, have to be relying on Third World immigrants and their higher birth rate.

Not news, because no one believed them in the first place. ~Bob. Excerpt: Documents obtained from the Obama Treasury Department reveal that the Obama administration -- contrary to its repeated denials -- attempted to exclude the top-rated Fox News Channel (FNC) reporters or news anchors from having access to Treasury’s “Executive Pay Czar” Kenneth Feinberg during his availability for a series of interviews with broadcast news organizations. The official documents, which include email communications within the Treasury Department, as well as emails between Treasury and White House staff, also provide disturbing evidence of an anti-Fox News bias within the Obama White House that smacks of a disregard to the First Amendment's freedom of the press clause. The documents, obtained last week by the non-partisan, public-interest group Judicial Watch as a result of its October, 28, 2009 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, concern a series of interviews with Feinberg, who served as the Special Master for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Executive Compensation on October 22, 2009.

Pentagon Discloses Largest-Ever Cyber Theft
Excerpt: William Lynn, the deputy secretary of defense, said in a speech outlining the strategy that 24,000 files containing Pentagon data were stolen from a defense industry computer network in a single intrusion in March. He offered no details about what was taken but in an interview before the speech he said the Pentagon believes the attacker was a foreign government. He didn't say which nation. "We have a pretty good idea" who did it, Lynn said the interview. He would not elaborate. (But will we strike back? ~Bob.)

Knox Lodge Opens Fire on Knox Museum Over Al-Jazeera
 Excerpt: The treasurer of the Major General Henry Knox Lodge says he nearly went “ballistic” when he heard that the General Knox Museum, in Maine, was going to honor the Al-Jazeera Washington bureau chief, Abderrahim Foukara, by having him as a speaker at a gala fundraiser on July 28. Brad Chase explains, “I telephoned the museum, talking to a woman, and told her I want to ask the following questions: Why are you having the Al-Jazeera Washington bureau chief as your speaker? Don’t you know that it is funded by the Emir of Qatar, and is a propaganda arm of the Islamists? Have you ever heard of the Muslim Brotherhood? Why don’t you have an American General for a speaker?” The Major General Knox Lodge, a Masonic lodge which meets in Boston, Massachusetts, is a paid member and sponsor of the Knox Museum. Chase says that, annually, around July 25th (Knox’s birthday), about 40 members spend a three-day weekend in Thomaston, Maine, and have a graveyard service, placing a wreath on Knox’s gravesite. Someone from the Knox Museum usually appears and takes part in the ceremony. (The museum number is 207-354-8062; PLEASE call & register your opposition to them honoring an Islamist terrorist organization; Gregory A. Dufour, museum president and chief executive officer of Camden National Corporation and Camden National Bank in Rockport, Maine. Gregory Dufour’s work number is 207-236-9131. –NG)

LAPD makes it easier for illegal immigrant drivers
Excerpt: Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck announced Monday that his officers will no longer automatically tow the cars of illegal immigrant drivers stopped at sobriety checkpoints. The policy comes in response to the concerns of Latino civil rights activists, who say impound fees are unfairly costing otherwise hardworking illegal immigrant drivers hundreds of dollars. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said his department impounds about 1,000 cars a year from illegal immigrants at sobriety checkpoints – not because they’re drunk but because they don’t have driver’s licenses. “As we reviewed our impound policies it became obvious to me that they had disparate impact on individuals based on something that was entirely out of their control," Beck said. California doesn’t issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. Under the new policy, officers will give unlicensed illegal immigrants “reasonable time” to find someone else to drive their cars home.

No comments:

Post a Comment